Tayla Littles is a graduate student pursuing an MS in Event Management at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. In this post, she tells us more about her internship this spring semester.
Where are you interning and what is your job title?
I am thrilled to be interning at FIRST Experiential Agency under their Solutions division with one of their clients. Most of my day-to-day tasks are for the FIRST events team which sits at their client, Goldman Sachs at their Jersey City office. My job title is Event Administrative Coordinator (Intern).
What projects have you been working on so far?
So far, I have been working primarily on venue sourcing which entails researching hotels, restaurants, and activities/entertainment in a particular city. I am collating all of the information into a spreadsheet for the events team to reference and compare/contrast different options in the city to use for future events. I also have worked at on-site events and assisted with registration (checking in attendees and handing out name badges). I’ve been shadowing the planning of a virtual event with one of the FIRST Project Managers and getting an understanding of the logistics and teams required to work with in order to produce this event successfully for the client. I am also responsible for other administrative tasks such as creating and editing spreadsheets and reviewing restaurant contracts for post-event dinners.
Have there been any challenges in your internship so far? If so, how have you learned to overcome them?
The most challenging part of my internship is the tools that are available to me. I once used Microsoft Outlook in a previous job and since transitioning to Google Suite products for work, I noticed I am able to be more productive with Google products. The technology used by the internship is quite dated (Outlook 2016) and doesn’t allow for the most efficient work, in my opinion. Given that tasks now take longer to complete, I overcome this challenge by allocating time appropriately for different tasks and prioritizing my time management. Another operational challenge has been the security and privacy features of working at a Financial services firm. For example, there was an enormous amount of privacy training ramping into the role, and certain tools require two, sometimes three, levels of security and this also slows down productivity in doing the core role. Remembering the bigger picture of completing the task at hand and contributing to and being beneficial to the on-site team has allowed me to overcome these obstacles.
What do you hope to take away from your internship?
The reason I applied to and accepted this internship was to get a different viewpoint into how another company manages, plans, and produces events from a corporate perspective. I wanted to better understand if there were any team planning routines/best practices, resources, tools, or even programming that I could learn from and apply to the work that I am currently doing or replicate for the tech industry. Ultimately, I hope to continue to grow my professional network with talented, resourceful event professionals. I am also hoping to end my internship with a better understanding of my own career path and if I want to work in more traditional spaces or if the tech industry is my calling for my career trajectory (I do believe it is the latter at this point!).
What are your future plans?
I currently have a full-time job as an Admin Business Partner at Google, Inc and I have been there for almost 4 years. My short-term future plans are to transition to an Events team/role within my current organization. I would like to be a part of an events team that works on projects that require producing large-scale events in the Tech or Entertainment industries. Later in my career, I would like to take on a leadership role in Marketing or Events at a non-traditional company. The modern “CEO” job title, Chief Events Officer, is what I am aspiring to in hopes to sit at the executive level and effectively manage Event/Marketing Divisions at an executive level.
All in all, I am grateful for the opportunity to intern with the FIRST @ GS team and I am certain that this experience will contribute to my future success in the events industry!